MP hails fuel shipments to Venezuela as ‘humiliation for America’

May 29, 2020 - 17:50

TEHRAN — A top MP who was reelected in the February parliamentary elections has hailed the arrival of Iranian tankers in Venezuela as a “humiliation” for the United States.

“The arriving and docking of Iranian oil tankers in Venezuela was a firm response to U.S. bullying, avarice and adventures, and it destroyed the empty grandeur of America,” Mehr on Friday quoted Mojtaba Zonnour as saying.

Zonnour, who acted as chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, in the previous parliament, said the move showed the Iranian nation’s might and dignity to the world.

On Thursday, the Venezuelan navy said it escorted a fourth tanker bringing Iranian fuel through its waters, Reuters reported.

The United States has criticized the shipment, as both OPEC nations are under sanctions. A U.S. official said earlier this month that President Donald Trump’s administration was considering responses to the shipment, prompting the Iranian government to warn Washington against military action.

Venezuela’s military has escorted each tanker through its exclusive economic zone. The navy on Thursday posted images of its ships alongside the fourth cargo, on vessel Faxon.

On May 23, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is always entitled to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and warned that if Iranian oil tankers in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world get into trouble by the Americans, Tehran will definitely retaliate.

“Although some of the U.S. measures have created unacceptable conditions in different parts of the world, we will not be the initiator of tension and clash,” Rouhani said in a phone call with the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Iranian Ambassador to Venezuela Hojatollah Soltani said on May 25 that the U.S. abstention from aggression against Iranian tankers showed that there’s still wisdom in the U.S. establishment.

“The U.S. act of non-aggression against Iranian oil tankers showed that wisdom, foresight, and tactfulness is still alive at some levels of that country’s establishment,” Soltani wrote in a tweet.

“Those [individuals] should make the warmongers understand that observing international regulations and treaties by governments, including the U.S. government, will create a safer world for all countries including the U.S.,” he added.

The ambassador also said the United States has finally realized that fulfilling its commitments and responsibilities regarding international treaties is a good thing.

However, Zonnour said the U.S.’s non-interference with the Iranian tankers were not due to “their decency, but rather, the cost-benefit formula has tied their hands.”

“They know that if they undermine our national interests, they will have to pay a heavy price,” he explained.

“Therefore, this trend will go on and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ships will continue to depart and arrive at their destination which is Venezuela for now,” the top MP added.

MH/PA

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